How to Assess Auto Body Damage after an Accident

How to Assess Auto Body Damage after an Accident

When you meet with an accident, and your car gets damaged, after getting treatment for your injuries, the first thing you worry about is the auto body damage and how bad is your car’s condition.  Data indicates that you are likely to meet with at least one car accident in a ten-year timeframe. You know that you have to get your car fixed fast and that it’s going to cost a lot of money. The first thing you do is locate the right collision repair shop or auto repair facility to put your car back on the roads. 

You’ll first have to get a car accident repair estimate and ensure that the estimate you get is not inflated but fair. Here are some tips on what needs to be done after such an accident, especially getting the correct estimate:

Being Guided to the “Listed” Auto Repair Shop

Your insurance provider would have published the names of auto repair shops that figure in their “Preferred List,” which need not be your choice by default. There is no compulsion that you need to get the repairs done at the collision repair center your insurance provider recommends. What you are looking for is quality repairs at affordable costs. Although the insurance provider covers you, the coverage doesn’t include ‘quality’ repairs, which is your lookout. Hence, pause for a moment, study some options and decide which collision repair shop is best.  

 

Check out the Options Available

There are bound to be many collision repair centers in your neighborhood, or you can search using your zip code or city to quickly locate the nearest repair center that will take over. You could always get a couple of more estimates if there are other centers in your area, and while you do that, you need to keep in mind just two things: quality and the warranty the collision repair center offers.  While well-equipped and centered with an expert team can make your car look as good as new, the warranty they offer keeps it that way for years. Checking the repair center’s track record and reviews also helps ensure that you entrust your car to the right people. 

Talk to your People and Their Friends

Word of mouth is not outdated and still is the best mode of advertising for any company. If the company you are dealing with is good, many people will be talking about the great experience. Such reviews and recommendations boost your confidence. They’ll tell you what type of auto body damage their car suffered and the estimate they got. You can also easily find out if the repairs were done on time or if the vehicles had to be in the collision center for very long. Gathering complete information about the collision center helps you decide quickly and correctly. 

Talk to your Insurance Provider

Although your insurance provider will provide you with a list of preferred auto repair centers that you may not like or choose, you still need to work with them. The insurers are with you throughout the process; hence you must keep them informed before getting the repair estimate. There may be some points stipulated by your insurers that need to be fulfilled in the estimate. The insurance provider will also tell you if the entire repair cost is covered or only part of it. 

Get a Few Comparative Estimates

You should get at least two to three comparative estimates, if not just to satisfy your curiosity; it helps you get an idea about the cost of repairs in the market. Getting a few estimates enables you to decide on the one that appears fair and works for you. Visiting a few collision repair centers to get the comparative estimates may be a tedious task, but you should do it to ensure you are getting the best deal. Moreover, when you visit the collision repair center, you can see the cars lined up for repair, which gives you a fair idea of the repair team’s capability. 

Some points to ponder:

Availability of Original Spare Parts

The collision repair facility needs to have an inventory of the parts that need to be replaced. They may have to order for some parts, and if you are OK with used parts or a salvaged OEM part, the part needs to be inspected by the repair team and Ok’d before they can use it. Preordering parts helps speed up the repair process. 

Approval from your Insurance Provider

If you don’t coordinate the repair process in tandem with the insurance providers, there are bound to be unnecessary delays. Collision repair centers don’t start the work unless the insurance folks approve the claim. 

Extra Attention

Does your car need any extra attention other than the damage repairs? You may want the wheel-alignment and balancing to be checked, a tint added to the windows, or the wiring to be checked; all this means extra expense and additional time. 

Summing it Up

An auto accident is unfortunate, but you need to seek medical treatment first and then worry about repairs to your car. Getting your vehicle back on the roads can be challenging if you don’t go to the right collision repair center. 

Posted in: Insurance